Racers lace up to Keep Tigers Wild

Hanoi, December 9, 2018 – Over 750 people from 31 countries laced up for the “Run for Tigers” race to galvanize support to save this magnificent species from extinction. Hanoi Red River Runners hosted the 12th Annual Hanoi Half Marathon, organized by Sporting Republic, in partnership with Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV).




The “Keep Tigers Wild” Run for Tigers event marks the sixth consecutive year in which the race has benefited wildlife protection in Vietnam.


Among the participants running for tigers today were teams from the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, as well as some corporations including Hong Ngoc Hospital, Karl Storz, Unilever Vietnam and PEAK Destination Management Company. Celebrity and television host Mai Trang from Vietnam Television (VTV) also participated in the race for the second time along with former Miss Vietnam, Nguyễn Thu Thủy.


“We are proud to see the enthusiastic response and diverse support for the run, as people have made their voices heard, that they too feel passionately about protecting tigers,” said Jody O’Dea, Hanoi Red River Runners. “It is hoped that the collaborative spirit of this event will continue as we fight to save this precious species from disappearing in the wild.”




Demand for tiger products in Vietnam has contributed to the dramatic decline of tiger populations in Vietnam and other regional countries over the past few decades with scientists estimating that fewer than five tigers may remain in the wild. Tigers are mainly threatened by hunting and illegal trade, as well as loss of habitat. Tigers are mainly trafficked for their bones which are used in traditional medicine.


“We cannot afford to witness the loss of another great species to extinction in Vietnam, as we did with the rhino in 2010,” said Ms. Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, ENV Vice Director. “It’s time for us to use our awareness of the perilous threat to the region’s tigers to take action to protect these majestic creatures before it is too late.”


Dung went on to encourage the public to ‘get involved’ by avoiding use of tiger products, encouraging their elders to seek alternatives by using modern medicine, and by reporting tiger crimes to authorities or to ENV Wildlife Crime Hotline 1800-1522.




In contrast to the decreasing numbers of tigers in the wild, the number of tigers on farms in Vietnam has escalated rapidly in recent years with an estimated 241 tigers currently being kept at 17 private zoos and facilities across the country. After investigating and monitoring tiger farms over the years, ENV has identified that a number of these facilities, including zoos, have illegally sold tigers and are linked to criminal wildlife trafficking networks.


“The best way to save our tigers is to let them live in nature where they belong,” says Ms. Dung. “Like the theme of this year’s marathon, let’s ‘Keep Tigers Wild’.”


Ms. Dung called on the government to take a stronger stance in halting the development of facilities keeping captive tiger populations, which ultimately have little conservation value. She further emphasized the need for the authorities to actively and aggressively address illegal captive tigers being kept by households, particularly in Nghe An province, a center for illegal tiger trading activities. Ms. Dung further urged authorities to aggressively undertake investigations resulting in the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of any Nghe An resident that is illegally keeping or selling tigers. Dung noted that similar arrests were overdue targeting the owners of zoos and other captive facilities engaged in any illegal selling of tiger cubs born at their facilities.




ENV would like to thank Hanoi Red River Runners and Sporting Republic for hosting this event in support of tiger protection. We would also like to thank the volunteers from the ENV Wildlife Protection Network who generously contributed their time and effort to the cause, without which support this annual event would not be possible.


For more details about ENV’s campaign to stop the illegal tiger trade, please visit HERE